Haas Scholars

Kaylee Yoshii

A Half-Century of Food Rationing in Cuba: A Historical Analysis of the Libreta

Among the Cuban Revolutions socialist reforms, none has influenced daily life more than the food rationing system. Since 1962, Cubans have used the libreta de abastecimiento (supplies booklet) to obtain monthly rations from state-run stores. The system enjoyed initial success, but the libretas efficacy diminished over time and today covers only ten days of food per month. Through historical analysis of the libreta, Kaylee will research how Cubans interacted with the state through food distribution, and how the rationing system affected standard of living. In Cuba, she will conduct interviews and visit Havana archives, seeking to draw lessons from the successes and failures of the Cuban rationing system. Her research will contribute to broader discussions on nutrition and state welfare, and provide a new perspective on the Cuban Revolutions history.

  • Major: History | Spanish & Education
  • Mentor: Elena A. Schneider, History